Nobel Laureate Derek Walcott addressed Compassion and Response to Human Suffering

April 11, 2005

Nobel Laureate Derek Walcott addressed Compassion and Response to Human Suffering during the Fourth Lectures Series of the Americas

Derek Walcott, the Nobel laureate, in his remarks during the fourth Organization of American States (OAS) Lecture Series of the Americas on April 11 th , discussed his acclaimed 1981 narrative poem, The Fortunate Traveler, in the context of issues surrounding suffering and human compassion.

"That traveler does not have to endure what he sees," was the point the Saint Lucian-born Walcott underscored about the central character in the narrative poem-a character of universal value. "But that’s what we have to do, we have to share that suffering that we see, that mass suffering that we see, these enormous disasters that are so big, they don’t touch us
privately. Some disasters are too big to apprehend." He also commented briefly on literature as a unifying force that could advance the coming together of peoples in the hemisphere, suggesting more translations would give English-speaking audiences, for instance, better access to Spanish-American literature and French-American literature, and vice-versa.

The Conference was transmitted in FUNGLODE’s headquarters in
Santo Domingo on Wednesday 13 th , where Mr. José Rafael Lantigua, Secretary of State and Culture and founding member of FUNGLODE’s Center for Cultural Studies lead the discussion panel. The program held around this presentation is part of an agreement signed between the OAS and FUNGLODE/GFDD to broadcast and support the OAS Lecture Series of the Americas in the Dominican Republic .

Former US President Jimmy
Carter, Inter-American Development Bank President Enrique Iglesias and International Criminal Court President Phillipe Kirsch have been keynote speakers for the first three lectures, respectively.